Consumer Privacy and Marketing Avoidance
We introduce consumer avoidance into analytical marketing research. We show that consumer efforts to conceal themselves and to deflect marketing have a crucial impact on sellers¡¯ marketing strategy. Under reasonable conditions, seller marketing is a strategic complement with consumer concealment. Hence, consumer measures to conceal themselves from marketing will increase its cost-effectiveness and lead sellers to market more. Policies that encourage consumers to conceal their identities would lead sellers to increase marketing. By contrast, policies that encourage consumers to deflect seller marketing would lead sellers to reduce marketing. Further, there is a clear need for public policy. To the extent of the externality from the sellers to consumers, the equilibrium levels of marketing (chosen by sellers) and concealment and deflection (chosen by consumers) exceed the social optimum.
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